Improv Classes & Coaching

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American Stage Improv ignites artistry, cultivates community, and empowers personal growth. Classes are available for all levels, beginner to advanced. We offer shortform classes, specialized electives, musical improv training, and our main focus – UCB longform training.  All classes are taught by professionals from American Stage Improv, Second City, The Groundlings, or Upright Citizen’s Brigade. Live. Laugh. Improv!

Improv4Life – Ignite your creative voice with short form improv. Play and explore while developing communication, collaboration, active listening, and more!

Longform Foundations (Levels 1-4) Learn the basics of longform improv in Levels 1 through 4! Explore the art of making things up, elevate your acting technique, and hone your comedic storytelling instincts.

Level 5 ASI Grad Ensemble – After graduating the 4-Level Improv Foundations Program, students have the opportunity to heighten the skills explored throughout the basic curriculum in the previous levels. An audition is required to join the L5 Advanced Ensemble.

Team Coaching (NEW!) – Elevate your indie or grad team according to your goals with an ASI coach.

Musical Improv – Create impromptu musicals with our 3-Level musical improv program!

Improv4Work – Corporate Training Workshops for professionals, businesses and organizations.

Review our class policies and FAQs.

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Improv4Life

Playtime for grown-ups!

Using fun short-form improv games & exercises like those seen on Whose Line is it Anyway? this class introduces you to the world of improvisation. With the guiding principle “Yes, And…” students will be exposed to the basics of improv while having fun performing.  This class is perfect for beginners, as well as more experienced improvisers, looking for awesome grown-up playtime.

Improv4Life will culminate in a student performance for family and friends.

NOTE: If you have minimal to no performance experience or would like to learn the art of Short-Form Improv, take Improv4Life before considering Level 1. If you have some performance experience, and would like to learn the art of Long-Form Improv, take Level 1.  For more information, please download this article written by ASI co-founder, Gavin Hawk…
What is the difference between Level 1 and Improv4Life? Which class should I take first?

Minimum: 8 students
Maximum: 20 students

JOHN HULS  John Huls is a veteran actor, producer, director, and educator, who has performed in just about every bay area theater. An alumnus of U.S.F. (BFA) and Tampa’s School of Night improv group, John taught theater at Patel Conservatory and Berkeley Preparatory School for over 20 years. He also served as Educational Director at American Stage.

Wednesdays
Dates: Jan 15 – March 11
Time:
7pm-9:00pm
Location: 
American Stage
Performance in Student Festival:
March 15
Instructor:
Lauren Bone

Tuition: $180 (with offer code EARLY by Dec 31), $225 (after Dec 31)

Enroll Today!Apply for Financial Aid!

Saturdays

Date: April 20 – June 15, 2019

Time: Saturdays 11:00am – 1:00pm
Location: American Stage
Performance in Student Festival: June 16
Instructor: Matt Walker
Tuition: $215
(20% with code EARLY by April 5th)

ENROLL TODAY!

Playwriting

Ignite your creative voice through the art of Playwriting. Elevate your writing technique in this program designed for writers and actors. Learn basic scene structure, character development, establish action, with weekly writing assignments and in-class exercises to generate material and establish a regular writing schedule. Workshop Series will culminate in a staged reading of student work for friends, family and limited guests.

Minimum: 8 students
Maximum: 20 students

JOHN HULS  John Huls is a veteran actor, producer, director, and educator, who has performed in just about every bay area theater. An alumnus of U.S.F. (BFA) and Tampa’s School of Night improv group, John taught theater at Patel Conservatory and Berkeley Preparatory School for over 20 years. He also served as Educational Director at American Stage.

Mondays 
Dates: 
January 27 – March 16
Time: 6:30-8:30PM
Location: American Stage
Instructor: Natalie Symons
Invited Play Reading: March 17
Tuition
: $180 (with offer code EARLY by Dec 31), $225 (after Dec 31)

Enroll Today!Apply for Financial Aid!

Saturdays

Date: April 20 – June 15, 2019

Time: Saturdays 11:00am – 1:00pm
Location: American Stage
Performance in Student Festival: June 16
Instructor: Matt Walker
Tuition: $215
(20% with code EARLY by April 5th)

ENROLL TODAY!

Directing

For actors, directors, playwrights, and filmmakers. Focus on script analysis and preparation, blocking and movement, business, uses of improvisation and working with actors, rhythm and tempo, theatrical organization, and integration of all aspects of technical theatre. Format consists of lecture and scene presentation.

Minimum: 3 students
Maximum: 6 students

JOHN HULS  John Huls is a veteran actor, producer, director, and educator, who has performed in just about every bay area theater. An alumnus of U.S.F. (BFA) and Tampa’s School of Night improv group, John taught theater at Patel Conservatory and Berkeley Preparatory School for over 20 years. He also served as Educational Director at American Stage.

Mondays 
Dates: 
January 27 – March 16
Time: 6:30-8:30PM
Location: American Stage
Instructor: Benjamin Ismail
Invited Play Reading: March 17
Tuition
: $180 (with offer code EARLY by Dec 31), $225 (after Dec 31)

Enroll Today!Apply for Financial Aid!

Saturdays

Date: April 20 – June 15, 2019

Time: Saturdays 11:00am – 1:00pm
Location: American Stage
Performance in Student Festival: June 16
Instructor: Matt Walker
Tuition: $215
(20% with code EARLY by April 5th)

ENROLL TODAY!

Improv Level 1 — Setting the Scene

Learn the basics of how to perform long-form improv!

Level One is the starting mark, this is where you learn the fundamentals of Long Form Improv: Yes and, agreement, listening and commitment. Group exercises, basic scene work and object work are geared to make students more confident, committed performers and people.

There are no prerequisites for this class. It is designed for the beginner improviser and/or the seasoned actor interested in the art of improv.

NOTE: If you have some performance experience, and would like to learn the art of Long-Form Improv, take Level 1. If you have minimal to no performance experience or would like to learn the art of Short-Form Improv, take Improv4Life before considering Level 1. For more information, please download this article written by ASI co-founder, Gavin Hawk…
What is the difference between Level 1 and Improv4Life? Which class should I take first?

Please Note: As of January 2019, ASI students starting Level 1 are beginning a 4-Level Longform Foundations program with an option to continue to Level 5, pending an audition. Level 5 gives students an opportunity to perform routinely and elevate the skills explored throughout the curriculum in the previous levels

Minimum: 7 students
Maximum: 18 students

Attendance policy: Any student who misses more than 2 classes across the 8-week session, will not be permitted to enroll in Level 2. (ASI reserves the right to make exceptions).

MATT WALKER Matt is a multi-faceted improviser with a wide array of experiences from LA, Chicago, and St. Pete. He has learned improv technique from Amy Goerlich (KROMPF), Michael McCusker (Cook County Social Club), Ryan Marsico (Red Door) and many others. He has performed with Terry Withers, Ricky Wayne, Gavin Hawk, Josh Spence, Will Luera and many more, in festivals, in LA (at the Pack Theater, iO West, UCB Sunset, Second City, Impro and more) He currently hosts and produces three local comedy/improv shows; one with his duo/trio The Bitter And (w/ Scott Shoaf), another, in unison with American Stage, highlighting improvisers willing to try something new: The Nest; and lastly, The Estate Show, a variety show featuring stand-up, sketch, improv, and music all in one show. Aside from his 9+ years experiences performing improv, he has an album on Spotify (MW Walker, “Half Awake”), performs stand-up comedy, and is also a prolific painter and artist. Follow all of his endeavors at @mattwindwalker

Wednesdays
Dates:
January 15 – March 11
Time: 6:30-8:30PM
Location: American Stage
Instructor: Ricky Wayne
Performance in Student Festival: March 15
Tuition
: $180 (with offer code EARLY by Dec 31), $225 (after Dec 31)

Recommended Text – UCB Manual

ENROLL TODAYApply for Financial Aid!

Saturdays
Dates:
January 18 – March 14
Time: 11:00-1:00PM
Location: American Stage
Instructor: TBD
Performance in Student Festival: March 15
Tuition
: $180 (with offer code EARLY by Dec 31), $225 (after Dec 31)

Recommended Text – UCB Manual

ENROLL TODAYApply for Financial Aid!

Saturdays
Dates: 
 April 20 – June 15
Time:
11:00 – 1:00PM
Location: 
American Stage
Instructor: Davina Reid
Performance in Student Festival: June 16
Tuition: $230
(20% with code EARLY by April 5th)

Recommended Text – UCB Manual

ENROLL TODAY!

Saturdays
Dates: 
 April 20 – June 15
Time:
11:00 – 1:00PM
Location: 
American Stage
Instructor: Davina Reid
Performance in Student Festival: June 16
Tuition: $230
(20% with code EARLY by April 5th)

Recommended Text – UCB Manual

ENROLL TODAY!

Improv Level 2 — Setting the Scene

Picking up where Level 1 left off, students will learn to find and play the Game of The Scene, the cornerstone of our improv philosophy. Students will learn how identifying and playing “game” makes their long-form improv scenes funny. Students will expand their improv tools to include: Finding the First Unusual Thing, The Game of the Scene, Heightening, Exploring, and Walk-Ons. The class culminates in a performance at the Student Improv Festival.

Minimum: 7 students
Maximum: 18 students

Attendance policy: Any student who misses more than 2 classes across the session, will not be permitted to enroll in Level 3. (ASI reserves the right to make exceptions).

MATT WALKER Matt is a multi-faceted improviser with a wide array of experiences from LA, Chicago, and St. Pete. He has learned improv technique from Amy Goerlich (KROMPF), Michael McCusker (Cook County Social Club), Ryan Marsico (Red Door) and many others. He has performed with Terry Withers, Ricky Wayne, Gavin Hawk, Josh Spence, Will Luera and many more, in festivals, in LA (at the Pack Theater, iO West, UCB Sunset, Second City, Impro and more) He currently hosts and produces three local comedy/improv shows; one with his duo/trio The Bitter And (w/ Scott Shoaf), another, in unison with American Stage, highlighting improvisers willing to try something new: The Nest; and lastly, The Estate Show, a variety show featuring stand-up, sketch, improv, and music all in one show. Aside from his 9+ years experiences performing improv, he has an album on Spotify (MW Walker, “Half Awake”), performs stand-up comedy, and is also a prolific painter and artist. Follow all of his endeavors at @mattwindwalker

Wednesdays
Dates:
January 15 – March 11
Time: 6:30-8:30PM
Location: American Stage
Instructor: Kris Atkinson
Performance in Student Festival: March 15
Tuition
: $180 (with offer code EARLY by Dec 31), $225 (after Dec 31)

ENROLL TODAYApply for Financial Aid!

Saturdays
Dates:
January 18 – March 14
Time: 11:00-1:00PM
Location: American Stage
Instructor: Kris Atkinson
Performance in Student Festival: March 15
Tuition
: $180 (with offer code EARLY by Dec 31), $225 (after Dec 31)

ENROLL TODAYApply for Financial Aid!

Saturdays
Dates: 
 April 20 – June 15
Time:
11:00 – 1:00PM
Location: 
American Stage
Instructor: Davina Reid
Performance in Student Festival: June 16
Tuition: $230
(20% with code EARLY by April 5th)

Recommended Text – UCB Manual

ENROLL TODAY!

Saturdays
Dates: 
 April 20 – June 15
Time:
11:00 – 1:00PM
Location: 
American Stage
Instructor: Davina Reid
Performance in Student Festival: June 16
Tuition: $230
(20% with code EARLY by April 5th)

Recommended Text – UCB Manual

ENROLL TODAY!

Improv Level 3 — Creating the Character

Picking up where Level 2 left off, students will explore and apply improv concepts like “Point of View”, “Character Mirroring”, and “Status”. Through both improv & acting exercises, learn to create grounded, dynamic comedic characters. Students in this class will hone their acting skills, and stretch and define their comedic voice.

Minimum: 10 students
Maximum: 18 students

Attendance policy: Any student who misses more than 2 classes across the session, will not be permitted to enroll in Level 4. (ASI reserves the right to make exceptions).

MATT WALKER Matt is a multi-faceted improviser with a wide array of experiences from LA, Chicago, and St. Pete. He has learned improv technique from Amy Goerlich (KROMPF), Michael McCusker (Cook County Social Club), Ryan Marsico (Red Door) and many others. He has performed with Terry Withers, Ricky Wayne, Gavin Hawk, Josh Spence, Will Luera and many more, in festivals, in LA (at the Pack Theater, iO West, UCB Sunset, Second City, Impro and more) He currently hosts and produces three local comedy/improv shows; one with his duo/trio The Bitter And (w/ Scott Shoaf), another, in unison with American Stage, highlighting improvisers willing to try something new: The Nest; and lastly, The Estate Show, a variety show featuring stand-up, sketch, improv, and music all in one show. Aside from his 9+ years experiences performing improv, he has an album on Spotify (MW Walker, “Half Awake”), performs stand-up comedy, and is also a prolific painter and artist. Follow all of his endeavors at @mattwindwalker

Wednesdays
Dates: 
January 15 – March 11
Time: 6:30-8:30PM
Location: American Stage
Instructor: Davina Reid
Performance in Student Festival: 
Tuition
: $200 (with offer code EARLY by Dec 31), $250 (after Dec 31)

ENROLL TODAY!Apply for Financial Aid!

Saturdays
Dates: 
 April 20 – June 15
Time:
11:00 – 1:00PM
Location: 
American Stage
Instructor: Davina Reid
Performance in Student Festival: June 16
Tuition: $230
(20% with code EARLY by April 5th)

Recommended Text – UCB Manual

ENROLL TODAY!

Saturdays
Dates: 
 April 20 – June 15
Time:
11:00 – 1:00PM
Location: 
American Stage
Instructor: Davina Reid
Performance in Student Festival: June 16
Tuition: $230
(20% with code EARLY by April 5th)

Recommended Text – UCB Manual

ENROLL TODAY!

Improv Level 4 — Longform Format

Picking up where Level 3 left off, students will learn troupe-focused improv concepts like “Group Scenes”, “Tags” and “Second and Third Beats,” and apply them to performing a long form format that highlights the strengths of the group. Explore the logistics and framework behind montage sets, and integrate the skills you’ve acquired through out your improv training.

Minimum: 10 students
Maximum: 16 students

Attendance policy: Any student who misses more than 2 classes across the session will need to retake Level 4 in order to graduate. (ASI reserves the right to make exceptions).

MATT WALKER Matt is a multi-faceted improviser with a wide array of experiences from LA, Chicago, and St. Pete. He has learned improv technique from Amy Goerlich (KROMPF), Michael McCusker (Cook County Social Club), Ryan Marsico (Red Door) and many others. He has performed with Terry Withers, Ricky Wayne, Gavin Hawk, Josh Spence, Will Luera and many more, in festivals, in LA (at the Pack Theater, iO West, UCB Sunset, Second City, Impro and more) He currently hosts and produces three local comedy/improv shows; one with his duo/trio The Bitter And (w/ Scott Shoaf), another, in unison with American Stage, highlighting improvisers willing to try something new: The Nest; and lastly, The Estate Show, a variety show featuring stand-up, sketch, improv, and music all in one show. Aside from his 9+ years experiences performing improv, he has an album on Spotify (MW Walker, “Half Awake”), performs stand-up comedy, and is also a prolific painter and artist. Follow all of his endeavors at @mattwindwalker

Saturdays 
Dates:
Spring 2020
Time: 6:30-8:30PM
Location: American Stage
Performance in Student Festival: 
Tuition
: $250

ENROLLMENT OPENS SPRING 2020

Saturdays
Dates: 
 April 20 – June 15
Time:
11:00 – 1:00PM
Location: 
American Stage
Instructor: Davina Reid
Performance in Student Festival: June 16
Tuition: $230
(20% with code EARLY by April 5th)

Recommended Text – UCB Manual

ENROLL TODAY!

Saturdays
Dates: 
 April 20 – June 15
Time:
11:00 – 1:00PM
Location: 
American Stage
Instructor: Davina Reid
Performance in Student Festival: June 16
Tuition: $230
(20% with code EARLY by April 5th)

Recommended Text – UCB Manual

ENROLL TODAY!

IMPROV LEVEL 5  GRAD Ensemble

Take your improv technique to the next level. After graduating the 4-Level Longform Training Program, students have the opportunity to heighten the skills explored throughout the curriculum in the previous levels. Starting fall 2019, the Level 5 Advanced Ensemble will receive training and performance opportunities as an ASI ensemble. They will work together with a coach for 2 quarters at a time (about 5 months) to elevate their acting technique, dig into emotionally driven scenework, continue to explore various comedic styles, and define and hone a format fitting to the team as a unit. The Grad Ensemble will perform/headline THE HIVE every 3rd Tuesday at 7PM.
Next Cohort (beg Winter 2020) Performance Dates: 2/28*, 3/17, 4/21, 5/19, 6/16
*4th Tuesday in Feb only.

THE HIVE: A longform improv show with ASI grads.
3rd Tuesdays at 7pm. (Bar opens 6:30pm)
AS Lobby Cabaret
Free. Donations support American Stage Education’s Sponsor-A-Student program.
A longform improv show for performers, by performers. Join the ASI community on the 3rd Tuesday of each month for an event that celebrates artistic growth and local improv. A great opportunity for students to see more longform, and even play-in! Each event will present a local longform indie team (usually consisting of ASI grads), our L5 Grad Ensemble, and a jam session for all who’d like to participate!

NOTE: Level 5 is an audition-based program open to graduates of ASI’s Longform Training Program.  If you have already auditioned and been accepted/participated into Level 5 during the 2018-2019 season, you do not have to re-audition and welcome to sign up as soon as enrollment opens.

Minimum: 6
Maximum: 9

Saturdays 
Dates: Saturdays, January 18 – June 13
Time:
11AM-1PM
Location: 
American Stage
Performance:
Once/month in The Hive (3rd Tuesdays)
Instructor: Gavin Stark
Tuition: $99/mo (for 5 months, 22 weeks)
Complete the prompts to set up a monthly payment plan when you enroll online.
Financial Aid available: email improv@americanstage.org

ENROLL TODAY!Sign Up for Auditions!

Musical Improv 1

WHAT?! Musical Improv? This is a real thing? Yes, and it’s amazing. This class teaches the art of impromptu musicals though exploring how to craft songs collaboratively, and how to grow a scene into a song.  It will heighten your scenework, and delight you with new discoveries. Having a good singing voice is NOT required to take this high-energy course. You just need a touch of fearlessness, a big imagination, and a solid grasp of Improv Level 1 (or higher). From there, the instructors meet each student at their level, and push you to new heights. We’ll be covering physicality, song structure, group numbers and a little bit of rhyming. If you’re looking to be more comfortable thinking on your feet and in verse, this class is for you. If you’re looking to stretching your improv skills further, this is right up your alley

Wednesdays
Dates:
Spring 2020
Time: 7:00-9:00PM
Location: American Stage
Instructor: TBD
Performance in Student Festival: 
Tuition
: $275

Prerequisite: Completion of Improv Level 1 strongly recommended, not required.

ENROLL TODAY Apply for Financial Aid!

Call for details

Musical Improv 2

Elevate your musical improv game! You’ve learned various song structures, strengthened your emotionally driven scenework, some basic musical theatre movement, and and explored musical montage structures. In Advanced Musical Improv, students will explore the basics of to crafting an impromptu narrative musical – including story structure. We’ll also continue to hone emotionally truthful characters, working as an ensemble, rhyming (and when not to rhyme), and additional song structures.

Tuesdays
Dates:
January 14 – March 10
Time: 7:00-9:00PM
Location: American Stage
Instructor: Colleen Cherry & Tom Sivak
Performance in Student Festival: March 15
Tuition
: $220 (with offer code EARLY by December 31st), $275(after December 31st)

Prerequisite: Completion of Musical Improv 1 or instructor recommendation.

ENROLL TODAY Apply for Financial Aid!

Call for details

SPARK Teen Improv

Grades 9-12
SPARK IMPROV Team is an extension of American Stage Improv for teens. Improv isn’t just crazy fun, it is a necessary and fundamental skill-set for ALL theatre artists. SPARK IMPROV ignites awareness, intellect, and artistry in young adults as communicators and collaborators. They will explore the basics of working as a troupe/ensemble, hone their creative voices, and collaborate to develop honest, impromptu scenework, and an original longform improv format. They will also explore various genres of improv.

Sundays
Time: Sundays, January 26 – May 3, 2pm-4pm
Teaching Artist: Patrick A. Jackson
Performances: May 2 at 12pm – Fall Youth Ensembles Final Sharing;
April 21 at 7pm – The HIVE;
Additional Performances TBA
Tuition: $290 (EARLY offer code not applicable to Youth Classes)

ENROLL TODAY Apply for Financial Aid!

Call for details

Team Coaching

Elevate your improv team according to your goals. Whether it’s consistent coaching, a one-off workshop to hone a specific skill, or simply an opportunity to play and seek feedback – we’ll set you up with an ASI COACH AND PRACTICE SPACE (as available).
Teams working with an ASI coach consistently (3 or more practices/month) are guaranteed a slot in The Hive at least once/quarter while we are working with them.

Available for any local teams, based on coach and space availability. Teams with ASI graduates strongly encouraged!

THE HIVE: A longform improv show with ASI grads.
3rd Tuesdays at 7pm. (Bar opens 6:30pm)
AS Lobby Cabaret
Free. Donations support American Stage Education’s Sponsor-A-Student program.
A longform improv show for performers, by performers. Join the ASI community on the 3rd Tuesday of each month for an event that celebrates artistic growth and local improv. A great opportunity for students to see more longform, and even play-in! Each event will present a local longform indie team (usually consisting of ASI grads), our L5 Grad Ensemble, and a jam session for all who’d like to participate!

Details
Dates/Times: As available
Location: 
American Stage
Instructor: Determined by your team goals
Price: $115/ 2-hour coaching period for up to 9 team members

To coordinate: email improv@americanstage.org

Quarter Months
Fall: October to December
Winter: January to March
Spring: April to June
Summer: July to September

Classes subject to change and/or cancellation if fewer than the minimum number of students enroll. Should this occur, your tuition will be fully refunded.

Discounts:
Receive 15% if you qualify in one of these ways:
Retake a Level (applies to L1-L4)
Enroll in a 2nd class during the same quarter
Present a current college ID at the Box Office
(15% discounts can only be applied via phone or at Box Office. Cannot be used in combination with EARLY promo)

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